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Kodak Alaris, Bartell Drugs renew partnership

BY Antoinette Alexander

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kodak Alaris has renewed its multi-year agreement with Bartell Drugs, which designates Kodak Alaris as Bartell’s exclusive partner within the photo category for all retail and online printing solutions.

Seattle-based Bartell Drugs, which owns and operates 62 stores, began working with Eastman Kodak Co. 99 years ago when the two companies were newly starting out, and now continues on with the new Kodak Alaris, founded in September 2013. Bartell’s provides its customers with access to more than 200 Kodak Picture Kiosks, giving consumers the ability to create personalized photo products in minutes.

"We invest in photo innovation products from Kodak Alaris because our customers value the ease and convenience of services provided," stated Howie Cohen, category manager for Bartell Drugs. "Kodak Alaris is a significant partner and through our relationship we have become the go-to destination for consumer photo printing needs in the Seattle area."

 

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ShopRite testing Mobile Scan app

BY Antoinette Alexander

KEASBEY, N.J. — ShopRite is piloting a program that takes shoppers beyond the traditional checkout lines and self-checkout lanes and enables them to check out from their smart phones.

The new ShopRite Mobile Scan app also alerts them to sales in the aisles in which they are shopping and automatically deducts Price Plus Club card savings as each item is scanned. Once their shopping orders are complete, customers can sync their mobile devices to designated self-service pay stations.

“Our customers can now enjoy the ease of shopping — and checking out — right on their smart phones, with the added convenience of product recommendations. Using their own phones, they can take advantage of ShopRite’s traditional low prices and speed through checkout, making for a quick and easy trip to the supermarket,” stated Cheryl Williams, VP of Digital Commerce and Innovation for ShopRite.

The pilot is currently in eight ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Connecticut.

 

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NRF stresses collaborative approach to reduce fraud

BY Marianne Wilson

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Monday urged Congress to take a comprehensive approach as it contemplates a national response to criminal cyber attacks in which millions of consumers’ credit and debit card numbers were stolen. NRF said retailers are willing to do their part to improve security, but that banks and card companies must also take major steps to shore up the current fraud-prone payments system.

“Rather than resort to blame and shame, the parties should work together to ensure that the data breach is remedied and steps are taken to prevent and mitigate future breaches.”
 said NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan.

Duncan went on to say that while retailers have every reason to want to see fraud reduced, they have only a portion of the ability to make it happen.

“We did not design the [payments] system, we do not configure the cards and we do not issue the cards,” he said. “We will work to effectively upgrade the system, but we cannot do it alone.”

Duncan was scheduled to testify Monday afternoon before a hearing on data security being held by a subcommittee of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. In testimony prepared for delivery at the hearing, Duncan said the United States is under constant criminal attack from sophisticated cybercriminals – largely located overseas – who target financial institutions, manufacturers, public utilities, and other businesses, not just retailers.

“This is a continuous battle against determined fraudsters,” he said. “Every party in the payment system, financial institutions, networks, processors, retailers and consumers, has a role to play in reducing fraud.”

In the short term, Duncan said the banking industry needs to replace current cards that store consumer data on 1960s-era magnetic strips, and have users sign their name with modern cards that encrypt data on an embedded microchip and require use of a secret personal identification number (PIN). Instead, banks and card companies have pushed so-called EMV – Europay, MasterCard and Visa – proprietary cards that use a chip but remain open to fraud by allowing the use of a signature. Duncan said replacement of easily forged signatures with a PIN-and-chip card is essential to security.

Duncan urged the United States to look beyond the payment card industry’s (PCI) security standards and proposed EMV cards, and embrace a more secure and technologically advanced payments system that is as innovative as it is competitive.

In the longer term, Duncan said further improvements, such as point-to-point encryption of data, “tokenization” of transactions and mobile payments offer potential solutions to better protect consumers.

Duncan also urged Congress to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which would make it easier for the commercial sector to share information about cyber threats and ensure that cybercrimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. He said NRF also wants Congress to replace the varying data breach notification laws currently on the books in 46 states and the District of Columbia with a single, uniform nationwide standard and bolster law enforcement agencies’ abilities to combat cyber attacks.

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